Mark Pennesi M.D., Ph.D.

Photo of Mark Pennesi, M.D., Ph.D.
Faculty profile
  • Division Chief, Ophthalmic Genetics

Associate Professor of Ophthalmology School of Medicine

Accepting new patients

4.7 out of 5 (204 Ratings, 17 Comments)


  • Ophthalmology

Special focus on

  • Retinal Dystrophies Congenital/Genetic Disease


  • B.S., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Pennsylvania 1997
  • Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Texas 2003
  • M.D., Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Texas 2004
  • Residency:

    • Transitional year, Scripps Mercy Hospital, San Diego, California, 2005
  • Fellowship:

    • Ophthalmic genetics fellowship, Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, 2009
  • Certifications:

    • American Board of Ophthalmology, 2010


Dr. Pennesi was born in Mount Kisco, New York, and moved to Dallas, Texas at a young age. For college, he moved to the east coast and attended the University of Pennsylvania for his undergraduate studies. There he graduated summa cum laude with a BS in biomedical engineering and was awarded the Herman P. Schwann award in bioengineering for exemplary scholarship.

Dr. Pennesi's interest in degenerative retinal disorders began shortly after his first year in college, when he spent a summer working at the Retina Foundation of the Southwest. He worked under the supervision of Dr. David Birch and saw patients with retinal degenerations such as retinitis pigmentosa as well as studying animal models of this disease.

After college, Dr. Pennesi completed a combined M.D./Ph.D. at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He performed his graduate Ph.D. work in the Department of Neuroscience in the lab of Dr. Samuel Wu. His thesis work focused on identifying new animal models of retinal degeneration. He received numerous awards while in graduate school, including the John J. Trentin Award for earning the highest GPA in his class and the BRASS scholarship for playing an active role in community service.

For his residency training, Dr. Pennesi spent his internship year in San Diego at Scripps Mercy Hospital, followed by his ophthalmology residency at the University of California, San Francisco. During residency he was awarded the Hogan/Garcia award for the best resident research project. After residency he completed an ophthalmic genetics fellowship under the tutelage of Dr. Richard Weleber.

Dr. Pennesi joined the faculty of Casey Eye Institute and is now an Associate Professor in Ophthalmic Genetics and as the chief of the Ophthalmic Genetics Division.

Both Research to Prevent Blindness and the Foundation Fighting Blindness have recognized Dr. Pennesi with career development awards to support his ambition to conduct transitional research that will bring treatments for diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa from the laboratory to the clinic. Additionally, he is the recipient of the 2011 ARVO/Alcon Early Clinician Scientist, the Alcon Young investigator Award in 2014, and the Casey Eye Institute Resident teach award. His research focuses on developing novel treatments for inherited retinal diseases. He is currently exploring the potential of a new class of drugs to up regulate protective growth factors in the retina.

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  • English

Patient Ratings

4.7 out of 5 (204 Ratings, 17 Comments)

The patient ratings score is an average of all responses to the question "How likely would you be to recommend this provider to your family and friends (on a scale of 0 to 10)" on our nationally-recognized NRC patient surveys.

Patient Comments

  • Jul 25, 2018

    The doctor did not tell me if my vision got worse and never told me the numbers of each eye. Basically he did not tell me what I wanted to hear.

  • Jul 19, 2018

    I learned a lot, and I like the doctor.

  • Jul 19, 2018

    Not only was Dr. Pennesi very thorough and knowledgeable he is enjoyable to visit with. His staff and students are an added bonus very professional, knowledgeable and personable.

  • Apr 05, 2018

    Because Dr Pennisi is a specialist in eye disease, I would not recommend him to others.

  • Mar 27, 2018

    Dr. Pennesi is a great physician! very personable, knowledgeable and caring. Great at explaining my condition and providing encouragement.

  • Sep 28, 2017

    I feel that I am receiving excellent care from Dr. Pennesi and his staff. He seems to be quite current about new research on my condition. His communication skills are excellent and make me feel comfortable in asking questions.

  • Jul 05, 2017

    Very good experience

  • May 18, 2017

    I am very glad I have Dr. Pennesi as my care provider. I have confidence in his abilities to choose the best course of action for treating my degenerative retina disease.

  • Apr 20, 2017

    My only concern/criticism of this experience was the doctor had has back to us as we were going over my son's history. He kept saying "mm-hmm" when I would describe something, but was exploring my son's chart notes. I didn't feel like he was really listening to everything I was saying. He did describe my son's condition fairly well, but I did feel like we had to pull the diagnosis from him. He didn't offer it up, like I/we were expecting. I basically asked,"So, is there a name for his condition?" He was very pleasant and knowledgeable about the diagnosis and said we could continue our follow up with our regular ophthalmologist, which did allay some of our fears about the seriousness of our son's condition. All said, we had a good experience.

  • Mar 15, 2017

    Dr. Pennesi is AMAZING!

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(503) 494-8386

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I see patients at

  • Casey Eye Institute - Marquam Hill Portland Directions